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Defining Geography. Word coined by Eratosthenes Geo = Earth Graphia = writing Geography thus means “earth writing”. Contemporary Geography. Geographers ask where and why Location and distribution are important terms
A tool for storing reference material and a tool for communicating geographic information.
These mushroom spores are to small to see, so we put them under a MICROSCOPE
When we see them, we can study them.
When we see it, we can study it.
“Some things are very tiny, and we must use complex electric and optical means (e.g., a microscope) to enlarge them so as to understand their configuration and structural relationships. In contrast, geographical things are so extensive that we must somehow reduce them to bring them into view.”
-Arthur Robinson, cartographer
MAPS as MACROSCOPES. . .
to help us think critically about problems and “problem spots” on the world stage.
Because the world is a sphere and maps are flat, there will always be some degree of distortion. The next several slides will display some of the more popular distortions.
There is distortion at the poles- Stretches the poles into long lines instead of leaving them as points.
Displaying the same geographical features at various scales may also depict misleading results.
“the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole”
- Merriam-Webster OnLine
Djibouti’s Ethnic Composition:
This map shows the total number of African-Americans per state. Examine Georgia.
In the previous slide, Georgia had one of the highest number of African-Americans, but a closer look tells a different picture. The dark red is the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Using Census Tracts of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, a different scale gives different results.
Data may also distort desired results. The following slides show how population of a particular cohort may be misleading.
This map shows the percentage of African-Americans living within counties across the US.
This map shows the total number of African-Americans living in each county across the US.
These four New York counties (New York, Kings, Queens, and Bronx) have a combined African-American population of 2,121,882 and outnumbers the total number of African-Americans in the entire state of Texas 2,021,632
A similar comparison can be made with Hispanics living in the US. This map shows the total percentage of Hispanics in each county.
These three Southern California counties (Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego) have a total Hispanic population of 5,045,726 which is greater than the total Hispanic population of Texas at 4,339,905. New Mexico has the greatest percentage of Hispanics (33%), it’s total Hispanic population is 579,224.
The map below shows the US population divided into Natural Breaks. In this case, the natural breaks are near the 7,000,000 mark.
This map shows US population in Quintiles. In this map, states are classified into five separate categories based on population. The dark red represents the states in the top one-fifth. The total population in each state has not changed; however, the way that it is classified has changed.